Today's 'Thought for the day' is a reflection on courage.
There is no danger that dauntless courage cannot conquer - Helena Blavatsky
The nineteenth century co-founder of the esoteric Theosophical society, Madame Blavatsky, lived a highly controversial public life as a figure for some of deep spiritual wisdom and for others of suspicious charlatanism. There is no doubt however, that Blavatsky’s theosophical mysticism at times spoke to the very heart of what it means to be courageously human in an often dangerous world.
The basis of all fear is essentially existential and the terror of death, a natural aversion we all experience as living beings, currently looms large for many in the world right now. To fear or even to experience dread at times is most human, but it becomes a problem when it controls our lives. Courage is not the absence or negation of fear or dread, it is inspired action in spite of grave danger in a spirit of divine hope and love; This relies upon a deep passion for the whole of existence and our small role in it. Like the lament of the oft-tormented 19th century Danish philosopher-theologian, Soren Kierkegaard, we might ponder that “What our age lacks is not reflection, but passion”".
There is a personal mystery at the heart of each of us; an as-yet formless infinite of ‘me-ness’ that has not yet emerged into what we might narrowly call ‘personal reality’. It is perhaps a consciousness in us (or we are in it) that is not exhausted by time or personal history. Our materialist culture might describe this as the ‘genetically driven potential of the person’ but in spiritual or mystical terms we might speak more of the ‘soul’ or other nonmaterial carrier of our most profound nature; What the brilliantly mathematical psychoanalyst, Wilfried Bion, symbolised as ‘O’, meaning something akin to ‘ultimate reality’. And it is a mixture of faith in that which lies beyond our personal limits, and a passionate willingness to reach beyond ourselves that moves us closer in courage towards the ‘O’ of each moment. From this wide vantage point within ourselves, a point of seeing and acting beyond a narrow idea of ourselves as separate beings, passion and faith combine to inspire a dauntless courage that belongs to the soul of the world.
Where is your deep passion expressed in life? Do you have faith enough in ‘O’ to meet the world with dauntless courage
The thought for the day is a short reflective writing relevant to the art of suffering well (enough) in difficult times, for parents and staff of Alice Smith. If it offers comfort amidst adversity, read the text and call it to mind when needed (even if just a short phrase from the larger text), allowing it to soak into the marrow of your bones and merge with your breath. Remember, we are all in this together…
Take good care, Dan
Author: Dan Lawrence, Primary Counsellor, The Alice Smith School